Today I had the chance to sit down with the magnificent English, singer/songwriter Maisie Johnson. She delightfully answered all of my questions and did so confidently and thoughtfully. She is an utterly charming young lady and wise beyond her years, here is what she had to say.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT SHARING THE SAME INITIALS AS THE MOST FAMOUS POP STAR IN THE WORLD?
Good question, suppose I’d never really thought about until now, I guess that’s a pretty cool coincidence…
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PERFORMING AND WRITING MUSIC?
I always had a massive interest and fascination with music, but oddly I didn’t even pick up a guitar until I was 15 years old, after I had watched a girl on YouTube play a cover of `’The way I am” by Ingrid Michelson – then I was hooked. I challenged myself to learn the song, to which then I discovered my own development through writing small simple songs.
WHAT AVENUES HAVE YOU PURSUED TO GARNER MORE SUCCESS AND EXPOSURE?
As many as possible! Gone are the days where you get picked up by a scout in a bar. It’s all about social media I think, it seems to be the main way I am gaining exposure with my music in other areas and cities like London, Liverpool etc. as well as overseas. But all of that in itself is a bonus on top of just enjoying what I do and playing, for the love of music.
WHAT ROAD BLOCKS HAVE YOU FOUND CHALLENGING?
I think more than anything its intriguing people and getting them hooked on what you’re about. Anyone can like a song or an artist for one moment but to get them to stand by you and appreciate and support you, no matter how good you are, or how much effort you put in, can be quite challenging.
HOW DO YOU FIND IT AS A SOLO ARTIST WORKING ON YOUR OWN?
To be honest, the easiest way for me to be creative naturally, is being in my own head. You can’t get anything more real than portraying that through your own music, entirely your own.
WHO DO YOU FIND TO BE YOUR INSPIRATION ARTISTICALLY?
Big question that! Where do I start? My influences go from Alanis Morrissett, Jeff Buckley, Half Moon Run, Jack Garett, to Lorde, Ben Howard, Kings of Leon. A bit of everything I guess, I draw different influences from different things and put them together!
WHAT INSPIRES YOU IN LIFE?
Everything, I couldn’t possibly say one specific thing. I don’t think I know…… to write good music? Hope that it’s appreciated. Family and friends. Growing up in a town that inspires me constantly. Travel.
Ooo tacos! Or any Mexican food for that matter! (she laughs out loud)
WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON FOR YOUR SOLO CAREER?
I haven’t been solo in a while so this is like a new beginning for me, a fresh start, rediscovering where I want to take my own writing and where I want to take it. I will be doing a lot of writing and gig’s!
DO YOU FIND CHART MUSIC OF TODAY TO BE OVERLY PRODUCED AND GENERIC? HOW CAN THIS CHANGE?
Well to be honest (there’s) not much I can say, as my music does utilise similar platforms in the sense of the electronic side of things. I’ll use similar instrumentation here and there because music is recycled after all!
But it all depends what your music is engineered for. I write because I love the creativity and it’s a bonus if it gets recognised. Some music is just engineered to make money so it’s whatever you’re into really.
HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT?
I don’t think I’m particularly different? I am supposed to be? (She laughs) I’m just me. Just doing what a have a passion for and not trying too hard to be something I’m not. I am just constantly finding ways to improve my skills, develop and learn.
WHERE CAN WE HEAR MORE AND SEE MORE?
You can find me on social media where you can hear my music and keep up to date about my upcoming gigs!
Twitter – @MaisieJohnson
Photos courtesy of Stephen Thornhill